Media reported that when someone suffers skeletal muscle loss due to an accident or illness, it is very difficult to put new muscle growth in place. However, the new handheld device is designed to help by placing the stent directly in the patient’s body. In fact, we’ve actually heard a lot about “biostents” lately.
In short, they are three-dimensional biocompatible materials implanted in the body, with microstructures similar to surrounding tissues. Over time, cells from the tissue migrate to the stent, allowing them to settle and multiply. Eventually, they completely replace the material, forming muscles, bones, cartilage, or other tissues.
That is, it is challenging to pre-produce this biostent and then implant it into the muscles. With this in mind, scientists at the University of Connecticut have developed a prototype of a handheld 3D printer to do the job.
First, scientists depositgeed gelatin-based hydrogels directly into unwanted gaps in the muscles. The integrated UV rays allow the gel to be cured into a bio-stent made up of tiny muscle fibers that easily adhere to adjacent muscle tissue without stitching. Muscle cells then enter the stent. In laboratory tests, the device has been shown to be effective in treating volumeal muscle damage in mice.
The paper on the study, led by Dr. Ali Tamayol, was recently published in the journal ACS Applied Bio Materials.